Flutter - Development Tools

This chapter explains about Flutter development tools in detail. The first stable release of the cross-platform development toolkit was released on December 4th, 2018, Flutter 1.0. Well, Google is continuously working on the improvements and strengthening the Flutter framework with different development tools.

Widget Sets

Google updated for Material and Cupertino widget sets to provide pixel-perfect quality in the components design. The upcoming version of flutter 1.2 will be designed to support desktop keyboard events and mouse hover support.

Flutter Development with Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code supports flutter development and provides extensive shortcuts for fast and efficient development. Some of the key features provided by Visual Studio Code for flutter development are listed below −

  • Code assist - When you want to check for options, you can use Ctrl+Space to get a list of code completion options.

  • Quick fix - Ctrl+. is quick fix tool to help in fixing the code.

  • Shortcuts while Coding.

  • Provides detailed documentation in comments.

  • Debugging shortcuts.

  • Hot restarts.

Dart DevTools

We can use Android Studio or Visual Studio Code, or any other IDE to write our code and install plugins. Google’s development team has been working on yet another development tool called Dart DevTools It is a web-based programming suite. It supports both Android and iOS platforms. It is based on time line view so developers can easily analyze their applications.

Install DevTools

To install DevTools run the following command in your console −

flutter packages pub global activate devtools

Now you can see the following output −

Resolving dependencies... 
+ args 1.5.1 
+ async 2.2.0
+ charcode 1.1.2 
+ codemirror 0.5.3+5.44.0 
+ collection 1.14.11 
+ convert 2.1.1 
+ devtools 0.0.16 
+ devtools_server 0.0.2 
+ http 0.12.0+2 
+ http_parser 3.1.3 
+ intl 0.15.8 
+ js 0.6.1+1 
+ meta 1.1.7 
+ mime 0.9.6+2 
Installed executable devtools. 
Activated devtools 0.0.16.

Run Server

You can run the DevTools server using the following command −

flutter packages pub global run devtools

Now, you will get a response similar to this,

Serving DevTools at

Start Your Application

Go to your application, open simulator and run using the following command −

flutter run --observatory-port=9200

Now, you are connected to DevTools.

Start DevTools in Browser

Now access the below url in the browser, to start DevTools −


You will get a response as shown below −

Dart Dev Tools

Flutter SDK

To update Flutter SDK, use the following command −

flutter upgrade

You can see an output as shown below −

Flutter SDK

To upgrade Flutter packages, use the following command −

flutter packages upgrade

You could see the following response,

Running "flutter packages upgrade" in my_app... 7.4s

Flutter Inspector

It is used to explore flutter widget trees. To achieve this, run the below command in your console,

flutter run --track-widget-creation

You can see an output as shown below −

Launching lib/main.dart on iPhone X in debug mode... 
─Assembling Flutter resources...                       3.6s 
Compiling, linking and signing...                      6.8s 
Xcode build done.                                     14.2s 
2,904ms (!)
To hot reload changes while running, press "r". To hot restart (and rebuild state), press "R". 
An Observatory debugger and profiler on iPhone X is available at: 
For a more detailed help message, press "h". To detach, press "d"; to quit, press "q".

Now go to the url, you could see the following result −

Kickstart Your Career

Get certified by completing the course

Get Started